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Learning to Deliberate: Aristotle on Truthfulness and Public Deliberation

Paul Nieuwenburg
Political Theory
Vol. 32, No. 4 (Aug., 2004), pp. 449-467
Published by: Sage Publications, Inc.
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/4148102
Page Count: 19
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Learning to Deliberate: Aristotle on Truthfulness and Public Deliberation
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Abstract

One argument for deliberative democracy is that public deliberation enhances a sincere concern for the common good. Most of the theories of deliberative democracy fail to give a satisfying account of this process. One of the causes for this state of affairs is a preoccupation with autonomy, which tends to obscure that public deliberation is deliberation with others who are actually present. On such an interpretation of publicity, shame, or a concern for reputation, plays a crucial motivational role. Aristotle, by acknowledging this role, is capable of constructing an account of the formation of deliberative character that is far more realistic than the standard answer of deliberative democrats. In particular, it is shown that public deliberation cannot discharge its edifying or civilizing function all by itself. To have the desired effect, the development of the deliberative capacity requires the acquisition of the virtues of character, especially that of truthfulness.

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